||Richards Rolls To Third Straight World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory Friday At Winston Speedway
Photo by Deephouse Photos
West Virginia Star Will Attempt To Tie Tour’s Consecutive Win Record On Saturday Night At Michigan’s Merritt Raceway
ROTHBURY, MI – Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., rolled to his third straight victory on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, dominating Friday night’s inaugural ‘Keyser Manufacturing 50’ before a standing-room-only crowd at Winston Speedway.
The two-time defending series champion made short work of the field, vaulting forward from the fifth starting spot to grab the lead from Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., on lap 14. He wasn’t challenged the remainder of the distance en route to a triumph worth $10,875.
Richards, 23, beat Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, to the finish line by a commanding 4.213-second margin for his seventh win of the 2011 WoO LMS season. The checkered flag tied him with Lanigan for top-winner status through 25 events and put him within reach of two series records: most consecutive wins (four) and most wins in a single season (nine).
Points leader Rick Eckert of York, Pa., finished third, maintaining a 50-point edge over Richards with his third top-three finish in his last four starts. Lanigan settled for a fourth-place finish after starting from the outside pole and leading laps 1-13, and 13th-starter Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., placed fifth thanks to a last-lap pass of Bear Lake, Pa.’s Chub Frank.
Richards’s 35th career win on the WoO LMS – more than any driver since 2004 – came in his first-ever visit to Tom Sprague Sr.’s one-third-mile oval in western Michigan. The track’s fast, moist condition surprised his father Mark’s Rocket Chassis team, but he handled the physical racing with aplomb.
“They kept talking about how slippery it is and how slow it is,” Richards said of the scouting report he heard on Winston Speedway. “(Then) you come here and it’s wet and wide open and you can race all over it. It was a fun race.”
Richards was on the charge as soon as the race was green-flagged, hustling his No. 1 to the front. He reached second with a lap-eight pass of Eckert and shortly thereafter drove around the outside of Lanigan to assume command for good.
“On a track like that where there’s traction, you just try to use it to your advantage,” said Richards, who built leads of as much as a straightaway once he took the point. “You just try to keep your momentum up and get your car pointed to where if someone slips up, you can go.
“Luckily enough we had the right tire combination and had the car right to where I was able to do that.”
Birkhofer, 39, was certainly no match for Richards. He came on strong during the race’s second half to secure second from Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., on lap 40, but he never drew close to Richards.
“Josh was obviously the best car,” said Birkhofer, who started seventh in his MB Customs machine. “He got out there and took off. We just were consistent.”
Eckert, who started third but fell back as far as fifth, rallied in the final circuits to grab the show finishing position. His Team Zero by Bloomquist remained just a bit off Richards’s torrid pace.
“If Josh keeps winning races like this he’s gonna get us (in the points) so we’re gonna have to pick our pace up,” said Eckert, whose two wins this season came in May. “We’re running well but just not as good as Josh right now.”
Richards will go for a record-tying fourth consecutive WoO LMS victory on Saturday night (Aug. 20) at Merritt Raceway in Lake City, Mich. Only Eckert (2006) and Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y. (2009) have won four A-Mains in a row on the tour.
“I don’t want to think about that,” said Richards, who had never won three straight WoO LMS events until Friday night. “We just go in each night and try to race hard. You try to win the race everywhere you go. You try not to put any extra pressure on yourself.”
Fuller finished sixth in Friday’s A-Main, rallying after he brought out the first caution flag of the race on lap three when he bounced in the air and slid to a stop in turn four. The event’s fourth starter had to restart from the rear of the field.
Frank placed seventh after losing two spots on the final lap. Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., was eighth and earned the $250 bonus as the highest-finishing WoO LMS Rookie of the Year contender; Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., finished ninth after starting from the pole position; and Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., completed the top 10 after using a provisional to start 23rd.
Four caution flags slowed the race – all for drivers who have followed the WoO LMS this season. Following Fuller’s early misfortune, rookie Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., stopped between turns one and two on lap 24; Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., stopped in turn three on lap 31; and Jill George of Cedar Falls, Iowa, spun in turn two on lap 33.
Mars, who climbed as high as second from the eighth starting spot, was running fifth when he pulled off the track on lap 46. His car’s right-front lower control arm broke because he slapped the turn-four wall.
Eckert bested the 40-car field in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, establishing a new track record with a circuit of 13.568 seconds. The tour’s alltime fast-time award leader earned his third quick-lap honor of 2011.
Heat winners were Lanigan, Fuller, Coffey and Doar. The B-Mains were captured by Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., and Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del.
The WoO LMS’s doubleheader in Michigan ends on Saturday night (Aug. 20) at Merritt Raceway in Lake City with a 50-lap event paying $10,000 to win.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Keyser Manufacturing 50’ at Winston Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (5) Josh Richards/50 $10,875
2. (7) Brian Birkhofer/50 $5,050
3. (3) Rick Eckert/50 $3,550
4. (2) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,150
5. (13) Shane Clanton/50 $2,550
6. (4) Tim Fuller/50 $2,250
7. (12) Chub Frank/50 $1,950
8. (11) Ron Davies/50 $1,850
9. (1) Vic Coffey/50 $1,750
10. (23) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,750
11. (18) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,600
12. (15) John Lobb/50 $1,500
13. (17) Dennis Erb Jr./50 $1,000
14. (19) Curt Spalding/49 $900
15. (8) Jimmy Mars/45 $850
16. (10) Jason Feger/43 $800
17. (22) Casey Noonan/43 $770
18. (9) Jeep VanWormer/38 $750
19. (21) Kevin Nelson Jr./35 $730
20. (24) Jill George/33 $700
21. (20) Clint Smith/30 $1,250
22. (6) Pat Doar/22 $1,250
23. (14) Brady Smith/16 $700
24. (16) Curtis Roberts/10 $725
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 28 Mins., 48.767 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 4.213 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 3, 24, 31, 33)
Lap Leaders: Lanigan (1-13); Richards (14-50)
Provisional Starters: McCreadie, George
Rookie of the Race: Davies ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Lobb ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 13.568 (NTR)
2. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 13.662
3. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 13.683
4. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 13.692
5. 34-Alan Vochaska/South Haven, MI 13.772
6. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 13.821
7. 1L-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 13.861
8. 9R-Curtis Roberts/Coleman, MI 13.908
9. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 13.916
10. 25F-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 13.918
11. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 13.930
12. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 13.984
13. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 13.998
14. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 13.998
15. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 14.002
16. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 14.022
17. 13-J.R. Hotovy/Hartford, MI 14.034
18. 28e-Dennis Erb Jr./Carpentersville, IL 14.048
19. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.083
20. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 14.084
21. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 14.172
22. 0N-Kevin Nelson Jr./Muskegon, MI 14.228
23. 1N-Casey Noonan/Sylvania, OH 14.271
24. 6M-Dona Marcoullier/Houghton Lake, MI 14.275
25. 85-Mark Anderson/Blanchard, MI 14.339
26. 87-Richard Neiser/Fruitport, MI 14.349
27. 07-Shawn Reed/Grant, MI 14.396
28. 99-Mike Wilburn/Muskegon, MI 14.545
29. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 14.571
30. 28s-Sammy Epling/Perry, MI 14.582
31. 94-Bill Bray/Spring Lake, MI 14.748
32. 44T-Rob Taylor/Muskegon, MI 14.750
33. 111-Curt Spalding/Hartford, MI 14.958
34. 05-C.J. Heskett/Muskegon, MI 14.983
35. 28JM-John McDonald/Muskegon, MI 15.085
36. 55P-Matt Pickard/Grant, MI 15.100
37. 3-Scott Wenell/Muskegon, MI 15.637
38. 21-Tom Sprague Jr./Muskegon, MI 18.791
39. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA N/T
40. 50-Scott Phillips/Marlette, MI N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lanigan, Eckert, VanWormer, Clanton, Hotovy, Spalding, Vochaska, Anderson, George, Wenell
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Fuller, Mars, Feger, B. Smith, Erb, Noonan, Heskett, Sprague, Epling, Neiser
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Coffey, Richards, Davies, Lobb, Hubbard, C. Smith, Bray, Noonan, Reed, McDonald
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Doar, Birkhofer, Frank, Roberts, McCreadie, Marcoullier, Pickard, Wilburn, Phillips, Taylor
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Erb, Spalding, Nelson, Hotovy, Sprague, Anderson, Vochaska, Neiser, George, Heskett, Wenell, Epling
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Hubbard, C. Smith, Noonan, Pickard, Taylor, Reed, Wilburn, Phillips, McDonald, Bray, Marcoullier (DNS) McCreadie
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 apparel certificate to 22nd fastest qualifier): Shawn Reed
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Brian Birkhofer
Comp Cams ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
Comp Cams (certificate to 10th place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tom Sprague Jr./Rob Taylor
JE Pistons ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 11th-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Austin Hubbard
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 21st-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Clint Smith
MSD Ignition ($75 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to last-place in A-Main or next lowest w/decal): Curtis Roberts
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place or next highest w/decal): Casey Noonan
R2C Performance ($100 certificate to highest-finishing driver w/decal or $100 cash if race winner is using R2C filter and decal is displayed): Josh Richards (cash)
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Brian Birkhofer
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 7th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to winner of Heat 1 or next highest w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one five-gallon plastic fuel jugs to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main or next highest w/decal): Alan Vochaska
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Dennis Erb Jr.
Wrisco Aluminum (Three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Josh Richards
2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of August 19 – 25 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Rick Eckert 3552
2. Josh Richards 3502 (-50)
3. Darrell Lanigan 3408 (-144)
4. Tim McCreadie 3362 (-190)
5. Chub Frank 3256 (-296)
6. Shane Clanton 3244 (-308)
7. Austin Hubbard 3240 (-312)
8. Clint Smith 3226 (-326)
9. Tim Fuller 3100 (-452)
10. Vic Coffey 3096 (-456)
11. Pat Doar 3000 (-552)
12. Ron Davies 2866 (-686)
13. John Lobb 2734 (-818)
14. Jill George 2018 (-1534)
15. Jason Feger 1408 (-2144)
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.
Nearly 5,000 fans are now WoO LMS ‘followers’ on Twitter. To sign-up and receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to http://www.dirtvision.com/welcome.php and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
BLOGGING: WoO LMS fans can now read interesting stories from the road by checking out two blogs –‘Life As An Outlaw’ by series announcer Rick Eshelman and ‘The Scoop With Scoop’ by tour P.R. director Kevin Kovac. Both blogs can be accessed by clicking on the preceding links or the specific ‘Blog’ buttons on the right-hand side of http://www.woolms.com/.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award), McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award), Chizmark Larson Insurance, Factory Value Parts and RacingJunk.com; in addition to contingency sponsors Comp Cams, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filters and Wrisco Aluminum.